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'Disrespectful' vandals slammed after poignant war memorial damaged

PUBLISHED: 13:13 18 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:14 18 December 2018

The doves were made by the school's art department Picture: IPSWICH SCHOOL

The doves were made by the school's art department Picture: IPSWICH SCHOOL

Archant

An Ipswich headmaster has slammed vandals who police believe damaged a school display commemorating soldiers who fought in the First World War.

The wings of some of the doves appear to have been snapped off by vandals Picture: IPSWICH SCHOOLThe wings of some of the doves appear to have been snapped off by vandals Picture: IPSWICH SCHOOL

Ipswich School put together a large art piece featuring more than 800 ceramic doves to mark the centenary of Armistice Day – with each bird bearing names, chosen by pupils, of someone in their family or local area who died or served in the war.

But staff were horrified to discover six of the doves, designed to represent the fragility of life, had been vandalised over the weekend.

Now headmaster Nicholas Weaver hit out at “disrespectful” vandals, who bosses believe also damaged a floodlight illuminating the display, adding: “It’s really disappointing that anybody should think that they could be so disrespectful.

“I just don’t understand it, how could someone think this was acceptable behaviour?

Some of the dismembered wings were left on the schools memorial obelisk Picture: IPSWICH SCHOOLSome of the dismembered wings were left on the schools memorial obelisk Picture: IPSWICH SCHOOL

“It’s not the monetary value of the doves themselves, but the fact that each one is special to an individual pupil at the school which is so saddening.”

Hundreds of churches, schools and businesses across Suffolk commemorated the armistice centenary in November 2018 with art work displays and ceremonies.

Ipswich School’s art department handmade the doves and then built them into a display outside the school and on the ceiling of its chapel.

The white doves were made of ceramic material, and were crafted to represent the bird of peace.

Ipswich mayor Jane Riley opened the art display, and hundreds of people queued to view the exhibit.

“It really connected with people,” Mr Weaver added.

“It was really moving and I felt it commemorated people in our community.

“For people to be so disconnected to it, that’s very disappointing.

“I’m not one for retribution, but I would like to ask them ‘Why? Why would you do this?’”

Mr Weaver said the school will be looking to put CCTV over the display to prevent any further damage.

It will remain at the site until April as planned.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is urged to call Suffolk police on 101, quoting CAD number 160 of December 17, 2018.

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